I’ll admit I woke up in a bit of a daze on Monday morning. I thought it was Friday, I had a hangover from Easter, and brief images of a playoff caliber Chicago Bulls team danced in my head.
Solutions to the question of how to fix the Bulls scrolled my brain on repeat like a Saturday morning episode of SportsCenter. And then it hit me:
The Chicago Bulls need to bring back Tom Thibodeau.
Call me crazy now, but we are part of the same contingent that thought this was a team ready to unseat the Cavaliers as top dog in the Eastern Conference.
Bringing back Thibs is a pipe dream, and I’ll be the first to concede that.
So what I don’t run a professional basketball organization and my ideas are merely ink on paper falling upon deaf ears (though sometimes I know I can do a better job than GarPax).
Doesn’t mean I can’t play the game of hypotheticals and ask the question on everyone’s mind.
What would it take to get Tom Thibodeau back pacing the Bulls sidelines in 2016-17?
For one, a Brinks truck.
Aside from the money, a laundry list of household items would need to happen. The entire Bulls front office would need restructuring. That can be construed as re-assigning important roles, firing people who are bad at their job (I like this one), or simply telling people to fuck themselves in hopes of cleaning the mess they’ve made.
It’s no fluke that this team is 36-37 and about to miss the playoffs.
The writing has been on the wall for two years now, and I’m not the only person lamenting on it. The Tribune’s David Haugh destroyed the organization top to bottom on Tuesday.
We have reached the point where I’m comfortable saying that the only person capable of fixing it is the man who was unlawfully blamed for the calamity in the first place.
This isn’t just a team in complete shambles. Everyone deserves a bit of blame. But from the owner on down, the atmosphere cultivating within the 2016 Chicago Bulls has grown to epically dismal proportions filled with unaccountability and finger pointing.
The front office refuses to admit they were wrong in firing Tom Thibodeau, nor do they wish to admit they’ve assembled a basketball team that’s always been one injury away from implosion. They, along with their archaic basketball ideologies, need to go.
The players, while marred by injury, should admit what we can all clearly see: a team visibly quitting on their head coach night after night; led by a $20M child more worried about birthday parties than playoff wins.
The rookie head coach can admit that he’s in over his head, overwhelmed by a job he wasn’t ready for and hurried into by a general manager with an ax to grind.
The list continues as those are just the main pawns on the chess board.
I ran a Twitter poll yesterday asking if Tom Thibodeau would ever come back.
If the Bulls relieve GarPax of their jobs this offseason, would Tom Thibodeau be open to returning to the #Bulls?
— Bill Blenichick (@brian_lendino) March 28, 2016
The results (which you can see above), finished 70/30 for Thibs understanding that Chicago is too good of a job to pass up despite how his first tenure abruptly ended.
For Tom Thibodeau to even consider coming back to the Bulls, Gar Forman and John Paxson would need to go. That truly is a relationship beyond repair. Luckily, the borderline negligence Forman and his front office jester Paxson exhibited this last offseason is more than enough grounds for termination.
Fred Hoiberg could move into a front office position of some sort, you know, the way the Cubs tried to handle things with Rick Renteria. Hoiberg is a smart basketball guy; no one will deny that.
But good, smart guys aren’t always the best fits.
The players don’t listen to him. He’s getting walked over like Marc Trestman. I honestly don’t know how else to put it.
You can keep him within the organization, just reassign him.
Aging personnel needs to be herded nicely towards free agency. There’s virtually no harm in testing the trade market for a guy like Derrick Rose or Nikola Mirotic. It’s an overhaul.
The Bulls have always had pieces to work with, but the core is no longer what it used to be. It’s simply time to blow it up.
Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe I’m whining. I don’t know.
What I do know is the Chicago Bulls are about to miss the playoffs for the first time since Scott Skiles was the head coach, and this was supposed to be a team with elite expectations.
Drastic times call for drastic measures.